For National Recovery Month, Tampa Metro Treatment Center set out on a goal to introduce the community to our patients.  As treatment professionals, we are aware of many community services but also realize that our patients have many barriers to reaching services in the community.  Our mission was to bring those community services into the treatment center and make them accessible and practical for our patients.  Our second goal was to congratulate each of our patients for the commitment they make toward their recovery each day and remind them what an important step starting treatment is so that they feel the pride, achievement and confidence to continue moving forward.

Bringing our event to life was our dedicated team of treatment professionals, leveraging their talents, expertise and contacts to make a fun-filled resourceful day.  Hurricane Irma was an uninvited guest that wanted to thwart our efforts, but the team succeeded in making our event a success despite the storm’s pesky arrival.

Courtney Brophy, our resident event planner, was instrumental in coming up with party ideas.  Courtney arranged for a basket of ‘goodies’ raffle.  The basket included candy and toiletry items and was wrapped beautifully.  Additionally, patients were asked to write down their “clean” time on a purple ribbon to display in the lobby.

Calvin Coleman, our resident boss-man, invited the Anti-Drug Alliance to come and visit with the staff and patients and distribute ‘quit smoking materials’.  He also talked with “Dress for Success,” a non-profit organization in Tampa that helps patients find jobs.  “Dress for Success” was rescheduled for October due to Hurricane Irma.

Jamie Zepp, our resident California Girl, contacted 12-Step programs to inquire about literature for patients.  The response to joining the program was very positive.  Literature for AA and NA was passed out to hundreds of patients.

For community referral sources, Renisha Pratt and Miriam Allman, created a bulletin board complete with flyers for the patients to use.  Once again, the response was very positive.

All members of the staff had a unique contribution of cheerfulness and well wishes to give to our patients and I thank each of the team members for their unique ideas and participation!  These efforts will continue throughout the year as we support all our patients on their journey to recovery.

Author: Johanna Baynard, Program Director for Tampa Metro Treatment Center